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Andrew Crook
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« on: March 22, 2011, 09:19:07 AM »

Hi everyone, I have a question.. Smiley  Huh

Is it okay for an Orthodox Christian to pray the rosary?  I know I myself actually like it a lot, and it seems to me to be a beautiful way of venerating the Theotokos.  I just wasn't sure if there were any theological problems with praying it, even with the prayers that were revealed at Fatima.

I'm wondering the same about other Catholic prayers, such as the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" started by St. Margaret Mary Alocque

God bless!
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 12:50:49 PM »

There is an Orthodox version of the Rosary: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Rosary
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 12:59:58 PM »

I still pray the Prayer to St. Michael on a daily basis.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 01:00:37 PM »

This has been discussed over and over here.

I tagged the thread. Click the word "rosary" at the bottom.

If you decide you have more specific questions, they probably have been discussed as well and a google search would be your best bet:

type in the google search box:

site:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/ term1 term2 term3 termX

Where the terms are whatever keywords you think would possibly bring up a page to answer your question.

Using google like this while a bit more work, it much better than the internal search engine. I know no offense is taken by that comment, as it is the suggested method by the admins for more robust searches within the site.

Good luck.
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 01:08:03 PM »

Hi everyone, I have a question.. Smiley  Huh

Is it okay for an Orthodox Christian to pray the rosary?  I know I myself actually like it a lot, and it seems to me to be a beautiful way of venerating the Theotokos.  I just wasn't sure if there were any theological problems with praying it, even with the prayers that were revealed at Fatima.

I'm wondering the same about other Catholic prayers, such as the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" started by St. Margaret Mary Alocque

God bless!

There are Orthodox who pray the Rule of the Mother of God, which is 150 prayers of "Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you have borne the Savior of our souls".  Note the difference in wording between this Orthodox prayer and the Roman Catholic "Hail Mary".  This is the ancient prayer rule that the West developed into the Rosary, and has none of the problematic later additions adopted by the Roman Catholic church. 

The later additions such as the "meditations" and the prayers allegedly revealed at Fatima are not appropriate for Orthodox Christians.  "Sacred Heart/Immaculate Heart" contemplations are also inappropriate. 

Much like you should consult your doctor before changing your medications, you should consult your spiritual father before altering your prayer rule.
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 02:30:52 PM »

I would echo the statements from Orual: the method of "meditative" prayer found in the Latin church (such as that which surrounds the mysteries of the rosary) isn't appropriate from an Orthodox perspective. Neither are devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus nor the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I would also encourage you to take a look at the Orthodox Wiki link above, and the eternal link "Orthodox Rosary" found at the end of that wiki article. Also do a nice search of the fora here, as this is a topic which has been discussed before.

To balance, I must also echo the sentiment put forward by Schultz. Many Roman Catholic prayers are acceptable, such as that to St. Michael the Archangel. I myself really like the prayer "Hail, Holy Queen", which is associated with the rosary. Just use your head about whether a prayer you like sounds Orthodox. If you have any doubt at all, ask your priest.

I would also suggest having a grounding in the Orthodox perspective on prayer. This is an infinitely deep topic, of course, but I would always encourage someone to learn about the nature and purpose of prayer in the Orthodox tradition
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 05:09:40 PM »

Thank you everyone!  This has been most helpful.  Cool
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 05:31:18 PM »

I still pray the Prayer to St. Michael on a daily basis.
I got the Arabic translation from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. My sons and I said it from the time they were old enough.
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 07:18:17 PM »

Meditation is not without Orthodox precedent, though. Another "hot button" issue is the popular Stations of the Cross devotion and its use amongst Orthodox, which seems to center around this same concept of meditation somehow being improper. And then you read quotes like these and wonder what all the fuss is about.

Draw near all of you, children of the Church,

bought with the precious and holy blood of the most pure Master.
Come, let us meditate on his sufferings with tears,
thinking on fear, meditating with trembling,

saying to ourselves, 
‘Christ our Saviour for us the impious was given over to death’.

Learn well, brother, what it is you hear:

God who is without sin,
Son of the Most High,
 for you was given up.
Open your heart, learn in details His sufferings and say to yourself:

God who is without sin

today was given up,

today was mocked,

today was abused,

today was struck,

today was scourged,

today wore a crown of thorns,

today was crucified,

He, the heavenly Lamb.



Your heart will tremble, your soul will shudder.
Shed tears everyday by this meditation on the Master's sufferings.

Tears become sweet (for) the soul is enlightened that always meditates on Christ's sufferings.


Always meditating thus, shedding tears every day,

giving thanks to the Master for the sufferings that he suffered for yo
u,

so that in the day of his Coming your tears may become your boast and exaltation before the judgment seat.
Endure as you meditate on the loving Master’s sufferings,

endure temptations, give thanks from your soul.
Blessed is the one who has before his eyes

the heavenly Master and his sufferings,

and has crucified himself from all the passions

and earthly deeds,
who has become an imitator 
of his own Master.

-St. Ephraim the Syrian


Or,

Let us not merely read of these things, but bear them in our mind; the crown of thorns, the robe, the reed, the blows, the smiting on the cheek, the spittings, the irony. These things, if continually meditated on, are sufficient to take down all anger.

— St. John Chrysostom


Or,

Try to know yourself, your own wickedness. Think on the greatness of God and your wretchedness. Meditate on the suffering of Christ, the magnitude of Whose love and suffering surpass our understanding.

— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk


I'm not saying that any ol' thought that pops into our head should be dwelt upon, but there is definitely a means of pondering and meditating upon things such as the sufferings of Christ, that are acceptable within Orthodoxy. An Orthodox form of the Rosary, which can be found Lulu.com for a mere $5, is a very beautiful form of the devotion and any Orthodox Christian should have no worries about praying it if they want to.
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 07:29:19 PM »

Seems to me it involves not so much some vague notion of "meditation" but rather "imagination".

FWIW.
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 07:31:16 PM »

Hi everyone, I have a question.. Smiley  Huh

Is it okay for an Orthodox Christian to pray the rosary?  I know I myself actually like it a lot, and it seems to me to be a beautiful way of venerating the Theotokos.  I just wasn't sure if there were any theological problems with praying it, even with the prayers that were revealed at Fatima.

I'm wondering the same about other Catholic prayers, such as the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" started by St. Margaret Mary Alocque

God bless!

Two things.  

One is the following prayer is was composed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux who is one of the post-schism saints, depending on how you date the schism, for whom the Orthodox still retain some reverence.  It is a much better devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus, for an eastern Catholic or even an Orthodox person:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pray0310.htm

The second is that I can say, having transferred to an eastern Catholic jurisdiction...not Orthodoxy...that it is better to remain within the prayer tradition of the east as much as possible.  Once those habits are formed them perhaps you can add things from the western tradition that are still helpful to you spiritually.

I still celebrate the Feast of Christ the King because it marks the day that I returned to the faith of my Baptism after being away from all forms of Christian life for over twenty years.  So that is an important moment for me...and I celebrate it.   I privately celebrate the saints of reformed Carmel because I was once clothed in Carmel, but am no longer a part of the Order.  But the years of formal formation in the spiritual life of Carmel are most compatible with eastern spirituality...Evagrius the Solitary in particular.  So you do what fits and is familiar...after you've developed some habits of strictly eastern devotion and prayer.

Hope that helps some.
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 07:38:42 PM »

Seems to me it involves not so much some vague notion of "meditation" but rather "imagination".

FWIW.

The Philokalia, in the glossary, defines the negative use of imagination that should not be used in prayer, as fantasy.  That does not mean that one cannot use images as a kind of lectio divina in pictoral form.  Meditating or thinking about the Scriptures represented in the image or the persons from Scripture or Tradition, represented in the image.
 
For example, st. Teresa of Avila recommends to her novices that when they begin to move from spoken prayer to contemplative prayer that they use the face of Jesus, an actual picture of Jesus, to meditate upon until they are so disciplined that they can then leave the images and words behind.  She also warns very strictly that fantasy must not be used by anyone for it leaves the mind and soul and heart open to demonic influences.

So when I see Orthodox believers using st. Teresa as an example of the bad aspects of so-called imaginary prayer in the west...well...I smile and know that person has actually never read st. Teresa.  They've only read about her...or...they are being purposefully dishonest by only using part of what she says.

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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 10:19:06 PM »

And if you are cynical again, know then, I do not judge anybody, including you, and I do not put myself above anybody. I'm as sinful as many others are. When I criticize idea I do not criticize people carrying this particular idea. I apologize though if it appears anywhere otherwise or if at times I do happen to judge others.cheap party dresses

Cheap party dresses are essential for Catholic prayers. Trust me.

In Christ,
Andrew

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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 10:45:56 PM »

And if you are cynical again, know then, I do not judge anybody, including you, and I do not put myself above anybody. I'm as sinful as many others are. When I criticize idea I do not criticize people carrying this particular idea. I apologize though if it appears anywhere otherwise or if at times I do happen to judge others.cheap party dresses

Cheap party dresses are essential for Catholic prayers. Trust me.

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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 11:24:54 PM »


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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2011, 10:57:28 AM »

bump

Seems to me it involves not so much some vague notion of "meditation" but rather "imagination".

FWIW.

The Philokalia, in the glossary, defines the negative use of imagination that should not be used in prayer, as fantasy.  That does not mean that one cannot use images as a kind of lectio divina in pictoral form.  Meditating or thinking about the Scriptures represented in the image or the persons from Scripture or Tradition, represented in the image.
 
For example, st. Teresa of Avila recommends to her novices that when they begin to move from spoken prayer to contemplative prayer that they use the face of Jesus, an actual picture of Jesus, to meditate upon until they are so disciplined that they can then leave the images and words behind.  She also warns very strictly that fantasy must not be used by anyone for it leaves the mind and soul and heart open to demonic influences.

So when I see Orthodox believers using st. Teresa as an example of the bad aspects of so-called imaginary prayer in the west...well...I smile and know that person has actually never read st. Teresa.  They've only read about her...or...they are being purposefully dishonest by only using part of what she says.


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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2011, 10:57:57 AM »

bump

Hi everyone, I have a question.. Smiley  Huh

Is it okay for an Orthodox Christian to pray the rosary?  I know I myself actually like it a lot, and it seems to me to be a beautiful way of venerating the Theotokos.  I just wasn't sure if there were any theological problems with praying it, even with the prayers that were revealed at Fatima.

I'm wondering the same about other Catholic prayers, such as the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" started by St. Margaret Mary Alocque

God bless!

Two things.  

One is the following prayer is was composed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux who is one of the post-schism saints, depending on how you date the schism, for whom the Orthodox still retain some reverence.  It is a much better devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus, for an eastern Catholic or even an Orthodox person:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pray0310.htm

The second is that I can say, having transferred to an eastern Catholic jurisdiction...not Orthodoxy...that it is better to remain within the prayer tradition of the east as much as possible.  Once those habits are formed them perhaps you can add things from the western tradition that are still helpful to you spiritually.

I still celebrate the Feast of Christ the King because it marks the day that I returned to the faith of my Baptism after being away from all forms of Christian life for over twenty years.  So that is an important moment for me...and I celebrate it.   I privately celebrate the saints of reformed Carmel because I was once clothed in Carmel, but am no longer a part of the Order.  But the years of formal formation in the spiritual life of Carmel are most compatible with eastern spirituality...Evagrius the Solitary in particular.  So you do what fits and is familiar...after you've developed some habits of strictly eastern devotion and prayer.

Hope that helps some.
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2011, 11:01:11 AM »

Seems to me it involves not so much some vague notion of "meditation" but rather "imagination".

FWIW.

The Philokalia, in the glossary, defines the negative use of imagination that should not be used in prayer, as fantasy

Thank you the amplification.
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2011, 11:07:42 AM »

Seems to me it involves not so much some vague notion of "meditation" but rather "imagination".

FWIW.

The Philokalia, in the glossary, defines the negative use of imagination that should not be used in prayer, as fantasy

Thank you the amplification.

It is an important distinction.  I know it helped me a great deal many many years ago when I first began on this path.  So you're welcome.

Just as an aside, there is much made of the Ignatian Exercises using the imagination in prayer.  And it is true that of all the masters of Catholic prayer, Ignatius did make use of the imgination to the greatest extent.  However...in the system set out by Ignatius, there should never be a time when someone does those exercises that they do not have a spiritual elder right there with them throughout.  They are not to do that alone...ever.

Makes a difference...
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